How to Hear Your Inner Voice
Rich Hua stashed this in Emotional Intelligence
Somatic marker is neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s term for the sensation in our body that tells us when a choice feels wrong or right. This bottom-up circuitry telegraphs its conclusions through our gut feelings, often long before the top-down circuits come to a more reasoned conclusion.
The ventromedial prefrontal area, a key part of this circuitry, guides our decision making when we face life’s most complex decisions, like who to marry or whether to buy a house. Such choices can’t be made by a cold, rational analysis. Instead we do better to simulate what it would feel like to choose A versus B. This brain area operates as that inner rudder.
There are two major streams of self-awareness: “me,” which builds narratives about our past and future; and “I,” which brings us into the immediate present. The “me” links together what we experience across time. The “I,” in stark contrast, exists only in the raw experience of our immediate moment.
The “I,” our most intimate sense of our self, reflects the piecemeal sum of our sensory impressions—particularly our body states. “I” builds from our brain’s system for mapping the body via the insula.
Such internal signals are our inner guides, helping us at many levels, from living a life in keeping with our guiding values to remembering our running shoes.